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Does Blackberry’s open letter have a return address?

Tomorrow, Blackberry will release a letter to media outletss worldwide. When I got news of this tonight, I stumbled mentally for a moment. I thought it reminiscent of the “There is life after Apple” Chiat/Day letter from Steve Jobs in the Wall Street Journal 25 years ago. For a minute I allowed techno-romance to gnaw at me, but only for a minute. Tomorrow’s open missal from Blackberry reminds me more of a fake letter that appeared in Chinese newspaper, The Southern Metropolis Daily a couple of months ago, and then found it’s way around China via the micro-blogging Weibo.

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Tomorrow, Blackberry will release a letter to media outletss worldwide. When I got news of this tonight, I stumbled mentally for a moment. I thought it reminiscent of the There is life after Apple” Chiat/Day letter from Steve Jobs in the Wall Street Journal 25 years ago. For a minute I allowed techno-romance to gnaw at me, but only for a minute. Tomorrow’s open missal from Blackberry reminds me more of a fake letter that appeared in Chinese newspaper, The Southern Metropolis Daily a couple of months ago, and then found it’s way around China via the micro-blogging Weibo. It was a clever viral marketing contrivance by a cosmetics company pitched as a letter from a (one assumes) wealthy mistress (turned wife) advising her rival in love that she just hasn’t got the looks to win back her/their man. “…a good man only belongs to a woman who can make herself beautiful…”. 

“To our valued customers, partners and fans, You’ve no doubt seen the headlines about BlackBerry. You’re probably wondering what they mean for you as one of the tens of millions of users who count on BlackBerry every single day. We have one important message for you: You can continue to count on BlackBerry.”

— Blackberry open letter, October 15 2013

 There’s a feeble pun here on glossing over the foibles of the cosmetic industry and their play on vanity, beauty and desirability – so I will gloss over it, and back to Blackberry. Like the cosmetics industry this letter from Blackberry promises much, declaring they are the best in class: 1) productivity tool, 2) security, 3) enterprise mobility management and 4) mobile social network. I appreciate pride in your brand, pride in your work and commitment to your company’s success, but this is approaching delusional – we are in Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field territory here. Blackberry is far from being the most productive mobile device available, Android, iOS and Windows Mobile give more products, more flexibility and better implementations of productivity tools. If Blackberry think different (ahem, if only they would!), they haven’t browsed those respective OS stores recently. It is a secure platform – Citrix’s acquisition of Zenprise and Good upping their game, and significantly Good’s appointment of Christy Wyatt have changes the security outlook considerably – do Blackberry watch Bloomberg anymore? Best in class enterprise mobility management? Now, Blackberry, are talking some sense  at last. Lost in the negative hype of their last disappointing results was the fact that Blackberry Enterprise Server 10 sales were up almost a third. – remarkable for a company that’s in the state that Blackberry’s in. And their final point regarding best in class mobile social network isn’t so much delusional as just silly. Numerous vendors provide secure messaging now, if you’re not an iMessage on iOS user you have numerous choices on Android and iOS, Good Mobile Messaging and a multi-platform solution with companies like my favourite, Threema. That is of course, if you think a) you actually need secure messaging b) you’re willing to use a vendors product that may be within the PRISM program and c) if you don’t have a corporate infrastructure that effectively makes your application of choice secure by the nature of how and where you run it. Indeed, when Blackberry proclaim the attractiveness of this feature they might have thought of addressing the non-availability of Blackberry messaging on iOS and Android. “Working around the clock” they say – it’s be a great social network application if it wasn’t just on their platform.

These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges. We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.     Blackberry open letter, October 15 2013

The technology-road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I don’t dispute Blackberry’s good intentions but it’s too late and they’ve fallen in to the trap of trading on their heritage. Their heritage is undeniably great; founded the same year the Macintosh was launched by Apple, Blackberry were the bar that everyone else had to measure up to. I used and loved a Blackberry for years and as An IT manager at the time, I subsequently ran my new iPhone in tandem slowly moving an entire business to a Microsoft platform that welcomed iOS and Android users, forced to embrace BYOD not by choice but simply because our wifi ground to a halt as I discovered every day a new user popping up on the network with a personal device. Blackberry stopped being a great company 6 years ago, but they do still make something great, that doesn’t fit in your pocket. Their Enterprise Server is an outstanding product and the sooner they stop making handsets the better. Blackberry’s future is as a software company, and I suspect not as an independent one.

If I wrote an open letter back to Blackberry tomorrow it’d be a short one, my advice simple: put on your make-up, put that phone back in your purse and get yourself downtown, it’s time you met some new people. Hey, I know this guy from Sunnyvale you’d really like…

External links & references

  1. Crackberry.com : Read the letter in full
  2. Blackberry previews new cloud service enterprise mobility management
  3. How Blackberry Fell : The New Yorker
  4. Good Technology : Collaboration Suite
  5. Microsoft address MDM with Intune


Business

The Mc Ginn sisters on Newstalk: Down To Business

Grace, Sarah and Jennie Mc Ginn know fashion. They know it inside out and back to front: OPSH.COM then will make sense when you think about it. An aggregation platform for the female shopper, it will launch in September after a years work. A couple of weeks ago, the serial entrepreneurs joined Margaret E. Ward on Newstalk’s Down To Business to talk about how they got here, and where they’re going.

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Grace, Sarah and Jennie Mc Ginn know fashion. They know it inside out and back to front: in that context OPSH.COM makes perfect sense. An aggregation platform for the female shopper, it will launch in September after a years work. A couple of weeks ago, the serial entrepreneurs joined Margaret E. Ward on Newstalk’s Down To Business to talk about how they got here, and where they’re going.

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Why I’ll miss Vizify

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Build a personal website in seconds, that’s what Vizify’s strap line used to say. It caused a stir when it launched and people started talking about it: Use Vizify to monitor and improve how you use Twitter wrote blogger Brian Thomas Humek, while Andrew Couts wrote about how it knows (well privacy is history) everything about you.

I forget how I found Vizify, but I’m glad I did. I’m really not sure how I used it or how often, but it’s a remarkably simple to use tool thats not so much a personal website like About.me, but a social business card. And when I used it, it honestly made me smile, sort of HootSuite meets WayBack Machine, but in 30 seconds. . The stand out feature is the micro-video it creates from your social posts, adding royalty free music, your top interactions and connections, and to prompt self-reflection if your fitness tracker has failed yet again to go in to sleep mode for a week, a useful little chart of when you Tweet the most.vizify_001

So as a result of the Yahoo! acquisition, Vizify will be ‘sunsetting’ the service, so now new sign-ups or paid plans and the service sill archive your profile until September. On their website, they don’t talk about the specifics of how they’ll bring Vizify to Yahoo!, but it’s fair to assume the service will be reappear at Yahoo! powering part of your Yahoo! account in an animated portrayal of the social elements of your profile encompassing your college details (a la Rivals.com), your blog posts (Tumblr) and your images (Flickr). It’s a good acquisition for Yahoo! giving them a a tool to combine images : aesthetics : social in to a catchy little box that is made for mobile. So no more grim avatar in your friends profile photo, instead a rich, animated informative overview of who they are and who they talk to.

It’s a good day for Yahoo!, more components for the revival of the web’s biggest sleeper, it’s a good day for founders, former Monsoon Commerce colleagues, Eli Tucker, Todd Silverstein <http://toddsilverstein.com/> and Jeff Cutler-Stamm, and investor Jonathan Sposato  but I’m not quite leaping with joy. I’ll miss Vizify; those videos, the quick interaction overview and the shock of seeing when I Tweet most; the sun’s setting one of the coolest, sharpest little tools the web’s served up in a while. Hurry up Yahoo!.

External links & references

  1. Read the announcement at Vizify.com
  2. The state of information visualisation, 2014: Robert Kosara
  3. Yahoo! acquires data visualisation star : InfoWorld

Yahoo timeline image by: Yahoo : Review CC Licence

vizify

Vizify statement

As part of our transition to Yahoo, we will no longer be allowing new signups or purchases of paid plans. We will also be sunsetting the Vizify service.

What does this mean for me?

As an existing Vizify account holder, look for an email in the coming weeks with more details. But for now, to make the transition process easier on you, we’re taking a few extra steps:

  • For all bioholders, free and paid, we’ll be providing a way for you to opt-in to “archive” a snapshot of your current bio that will remain live at the same URL through September 4, 2014.
  • For those of you with a current paid plan, we’ll be issuing a full refund for everything you’ve paid Vizify.
  • For Premium customers who registered a domain through Vizify (like your-name .com), we’ll be providing instructions so you can assume ownership of your domain, free of charge.

What do I need to do?

You’ll be getting an additional email from us next week with steps you’ll need to take. In the meantime, see our FAQ.

– Team Vizify

For any bioholders who do not opt-in to archive their bio by April 7, 2014, the Terms of Service will terminate and all licenses granted to you will be revoked on April 7, 2014.

Vizify is a registered trademark. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. 812 Washington St. #800, Portland, OR 97205

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Building Information Modeling, this could be big. Honestly.

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Building Information Modeling is not a glamorous phrase that conjures up images of turbo-charged start-ups around the world, full of enthusiastic coders adding another million dollars of shareholder value with every keystroke. It is a sector though, that is attracting the interest of tech investors – and that’s generally a clue as to the importance of an emerging industry. Building Information Modeling isn’t a new sector, the concept has been around for almost forty years, but it was only a decade ago that BIM became an ‘industry’ following a publication by CAD company Autodesk. With BIM software you create models of buildings or facilities – but not just CAD images traditionally used by architects and builders, but models that display other characteristics of buildings, for example the functional characteristics of a site. So you add digital images or files that show the air-conditioning system due to be fitted but what if you could get the manufacturers of various air-con systems to give you digital files for various types and capacities of cooling system?

[funky_quote align=”left”]“Technology companies are becoming the bright spot in the economic outlook based on their increasing role within macro-economic environments, 2013 has demonstrated the sector’s vibrant activity and its contribution to the global economic recovery. ” — Alex Vieux, Chairman, Red Herring.[/funky_quote]The power consumption, physical and aesthetic impact of building facilities can be examined, or ‘modeled.  What if you could add images and accompanying technical information about the walls that will be erected inside the building, and on those walls you could digitally ‘paint’ the exact type of covering or paint to be used. With manufacturer information integrated into the design and modeling process you could end up knowing how a building will look, feel and sound when people are in it.  Data assisted decision making from concept, through design and construction right through the life of a building and how its eventual demolition will impact a landscape and community.

BIMobject®, a leading Swedish BIM software provider has announced it’s been selected as a candidate for Red Herring’s 2013 Top 100 Global award. which recognises the year’s most promising private technology companies and entrepreneurs, which will be awarded on November 20th.The inclusion of

External Links & References

  1. Examine products at BIMObject.com
  2. BIMObject : YouTube channel
  3. Red Herring Global 100 Awards
  4. National BIM Library : NBS
  5. BIM Working Groups : Saved Google Search
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